Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Indo-US working group on terrorism to meet early '02

Indo-US working group on terrorism to meet early '02

Author: Indrani Bagchi
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: December 11, 2001

With terrorism emerging as top priority among key nations in the world, the next India-US joint working group (JWG) on terrorism will meet again in the early weeks of next year, in what sources call an 'accelerated schedule'. The two countries will also work on expanding the ambit of the co-operation to include a military component for the first time in the talks.

While co-operation between the two nations on combating terrorism has qualitatively increased in the past year, a workshop held here last week between India and the US aimed at strengthening India's own capacities and edifice to tackle terrorism, especially terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction. The US team came in from the office of counter-terrorism while the Indian team was led by an interagency office of disaster management under the ministry of home affairs.

While the threat of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear explosives have intensified following fears that Osama bin Laden might possess a radiological weapon, there was a general feeling that India needed to fortify its capacities in the following areas: intelligence and investigation (to prevent attacks); interdiction capabilities and consequence management, in the event of an attack. Hitherto, the focus of the interactions have been confined to anti-terrorist training of field operatives, agencies, hostage negotiations etc. But the feeling was expressed on both sides that the programme needed to evolve in its breadth and depth. This was among the decisions taken during the last meeting of the JWG in June in the US, where both sides agreed to enhance the cooperative process by reviewing the training procedures for one of the most important aspects of tackling terrorist attacks - in consequence management, because the assessment is that despite the government's best efforts, there could well be an attack or two that can slip through.

Consequence management is the most complex coordination exercise as it involves the first responders, ie fire, medical aid, investigation etc as well as the longer term response. The forthcoming meetings will help India work out its own blueprint for action response, provide training and equipment and enable Indian anti-terrorism experts to review US' own facilities.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements